Business Builders

Back in School

$1 Preschool Tours

Pizzeria owner Rik Jones has found that just like many elementary schools, local preschools are often looking for exciting, educational field trips nearby, whether visiting the local fire station or coming to Cicero’s to see firsthand how pizza is made.

For $1 per student, the class gets a behind the scenes tour of the kitchen to see pizzas being made, pencil and paper games in the dining room while their pizzas bake, and then a pizza lunch. In response to his genteel hospitality, many of his enthusiastic young guests soon return with the rest of their family in tow!

Rik Jones, Owner Cicero’s Pizza, San Jose, CA


Frisbees as Flyers

Rick Lorenzo wanted to introduce hungry University of Texas students living nearby to Lorenzo’s Ristorante. But getting their attention was not easy, especially since their gated apartment complexes strictly forbid flyers.

Rick’s solution? He imprinted a special “Summer Celebration” offer and his restaurant’s address on $1 Frisbees, which his employees then tossed over apartment pool fences to dozens of sunbathing students. While only 15 of 500 Frisbee “flyers” were redeemed for a free pizza, the stunt generated word of mouth among students, significantly boosting Rick’s sales in following months.

Rick Lorenzo, Owner Lorenzo’s Ristorante, San Antonio, TX


“Mascot” Fundraiser

To reinforce his pizzeria’s hometown loyalty, owner Ed Bryant is helping raise money for three area high schools. He is selling $1 paper cutouts of each school’s mascot, which guests post on his walls. The proceeds go directly to each school. To spur participation, Ed offers a free sandwich when purchasing ten cutouts. This fundraiser sparked a good natured rivalry between families supporting each school, who keep donating to prevent their mascot from falling behind the other two. For the food cost of a few sandwiches, Ed raised $150 in donations so far, while the wall of mascots reminds everyone that Ed has the community at heart!

Ed Bryant, Owner Maxie’s Pizza & Pasta, Kimberly, ID


Slice for a Pint

Brooklyn pizzeria owner Alfred Macaluso gives “Slice for a Pint” gift certificates to his local blood bank to reward donors for giving blood. This makes Alfred feel good and attracts desirable customer types to try his food. (Blood donors are often community-minded folks with above average education and/or income.)

To ensure that the donors have a great first experience at Pete’s Place, Alfred educates his team how blood donations save lives and encourages them to sincerely thank each donor when redeeming their certificate!

Alfred Macaluso, Owner Pete’s Place, Brooklyn, NY


Boosting Catering Success: Unexpected Grazie Reinforces Relationships

One way to make catering more profitable is cultivating relationships among clients who appreciate superior food and reliable, responsive service instead of seeking the cheapest price.

So after caterer and restaurateur Sadie Kennedy delivers particularly large catering orders (e.g., $500), she expresses her genuine appreciation by mailing the person who booked the order a hand written thank you card and two $10 gift certificates toward a nice lunch at her restaurant.

Sadie’s unexpected generosity lets her catering clients know that she appreciates their business, while encouraging them to become restaurant regulars as well!


Narrowing Choices Helps Newcomers

When developing catering menus, Sadie Kennedy knows less experienced clients often underestimate catering costs, partly because they are not sure what they want. So she simplifies their decision making process. First, she proposes the most flavorful menu possible within their stated budget, including ideas to make the presentation uniquely special.

Then, in case they hoped for something a little fancier, she proposes just two reasonably priced upgrades (e.g., “for another X dollars per person, we could replace grilled chicken with salmon”).

Suggesting only one or two options keeps newcomers from becoming overwhelmed. Presenting the choices as value/price tradeoffs leaves them feeling in control of costs. As a result, not only do they often choose to upgrade, they grow to trust Sadie’s judgment in planning future events.

Sadie Kennedy, Owner Fancy Pantry Catering, Alpharetta, GA